I travel the country often, have many opportunities to dine out and formulate many personal opinions. 

Ambiance usually plays a huge factor in how I first choose a restaurant whether driving by or googling a cuisine, the vibe matters to me. Once I walk in the door and get past the atmosphere, I pay close attention to the interaction I receive from the front of house team, because I am quite biased about service also.  My expectations here are through the roof after two decades of personally training my staff. 

When it comes to the menu, I’m not soley a sophisticated “foodie”, but love all types of good food, so this part of the magic restaurant formula is also important.  I believe most diners are looking for all three of the above: “Food, Service & Ambiance” when they select a restaurant to eat out, so this should be top of mind in the total experience you provide your guests.

Restaurateurs can be somewhat biased about their operation, thinking “I’ve got this”!  To be honest, I was like that too for many years, but came around to fresh thinking.  That is, taking a big step back from the place and seeing what the guest sees.  This is the first step in building and sustaining a powerful brand!

If you do this, will you see an exciting, dynamic place that guests are still raving about many years after opening, or a restaurant that could use not just a fresh coat of paint, but an overall start from scratch makeover?

Give this episode a listen, then sit down with your team and discuss fresh ideas.  From mild to wild, change is good,  You can be sure your customer will notice and spread the word.

Now go out there and Rock Your Restaurant!

Roger

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Restaurant Rockstars Podcast Episode #102

COMPLETE TRANSCRIPTION BELOW


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EPISODE #102 TRANSCRIPTION

[Start of Transcript]
You're tuned in to the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast. Powerful ideas to rock your restaurant, here's your Host, Roger Beaudoin.
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Hey! It's Roger back at you. I have this thing I call 'The Wow factor' when I first came up with this term, it was all about the food, the plates, the presentation and the aromas. I wanted every customer to say, "Wow!" when their dish was put in front of them and pretty soon the camera phone started coming out.


But why stop with the food I thought? Wow factor should describe everything about your place, every experience a customer has in your restaurant. Being in this business it's common to have a critical eye when we visit other competitors and other restaurants no matter where we happen to be. But it's another story entirely to have the same critical eye about our own business. The trick is not to be so close to our operation as to miss what the customers critical eye sees; listen on and you'll see what I mean.
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Welcome back everyone to The Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, really glad you're here. Does your restaurant have soul excitement? What I call the vibe or is it in need of a makeover? Now, no one needs to tell you this is a high competition business and to stay relevant, your operation has to stay well ahead of the curve. Not only what the other are guys doing, but all the new start up places that seemed to open almost daily.
The dining public is fickle, the choices are endless and business as usual is no longer enough. Now, I've always believed there are three important attributes of any successful restaurant. Food, service and ambiance; all three equally important.
I also believe that customers expect to be recognized, acknowledged and served. Hit all of these out of the park and your powerful brand will build and your cash register will ring; missed the pitch and three strikes you're out. Here's a case in point now I live in a famous resort and there's a year round clientele, so obviously there are numerous restaurant choices. If you're looking for any type of cuisine or atmosphere you'll find it here. 
You know we have a wonderful village of shops at the base of the mountains and for years there was the stale pizzeria run by the resort. The food was OK, the service average but the overall atmosphere was well really kind of bland, the dining areas were cramped and broken up with arched doorways and there really was no decor of any interest. 
Now this restaurant had no personality and really had no steady clientele. There was always pretty much a seat available but no energy of any kind. My family and I dined there once or twice but mainly due to its convenience to our favorite movie theater now that tells me that this place kind of limped along writing in the business drawn by other businesses.
But I also didn't mind going there because I would envision what could be and all sorts of exciting concept and themes turned over in my head. If I were ever to open restaurants again, now this past summer the building was gutted, giant Turks cover the entire structure and the community watched and waited in anticipation of this new venue that was going to open for Christmas. 
And what an opening it was, lots of excitement and fanfare and you couldn't get near the place. Now, suddenly there was substance behind the hype there was excitement and best of all efficiency the service was stepped up huge, the menu is completely revamped now it's family friendly and truly affordable in a high end resort with many expensive restaurant choices. 
Now, my family and I dined here twice since the holidays and most important our experiences have been consistent. Attentive personable service where you truly feel like an important and recognized guest. Yes, absolutely that's what it's about; delicious food and drinks with generous attractive portions. 
Also very appreciated now all the dishes I've seen have what I call 'Wow factor' what does that mean? You say Wow! to your table when your meal is placed in front of you and the camera phones come out. You can be sure lots of these plates and raves show up on social media. 
Now, there's a magic formula in the restaurant business and although it's pretty elusive, I've touched on it above. Now, sit down with your team take a step back and look at all aspects of your dining experience; put your guest hats on and answer these questions. 
Has your concept lost its luster and in need of a makeover? Or are you providing many reasons to dazzle your customer and bring them back again? Are your online reviews 5-star? Are both your staff and your guests sharing their excitement for your place on social media? 
Now today is the first day of your restaurant's future, imagine yourself in your favorite restaurants and all the reasons you go there, exactly! 
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Thanks for listening to The Restaurant's Rockstars Podcast. For lots of great resources, head over to restaurantrockstars.com and while you're there, download a copy of the book, 'Rock Your Restaurant' it's a game changer, See you next time!
[End of Transcript]